Title: Creation, etc

Author: C.K. Stead

In: Sport 29: Spring 2002

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, October 2002

Part of: Sport

Keywords: Verse Literature

Conditions of use



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Sport 29: Spring 2002

C.K. Stead — Creation, etc

page 90

C.K. Stead

Creation, etc

i The Annunciation
Angels are never average and seldom avenging
but was it a kindness to whisper
a victim and a victory over Death
in Mary's marvelling ear?
The light creeps crab-wise over a sky it paints
in blue-eyed blue, and it's we
cousins of the fur and the stalk must write
an End-of-Term to be delivered by
that silence behind the silence of the stars.
In the beginning was indeed the Word
and it wasn't ours. Ours will be simply the last.

ii The Death of God
Whitman and Nietzsche we watched
dancing together in a high wind of Self
on the cold horn of the moon.
‘Oh the great Noontide,’ they sang.
‘Oh the warm South of the Future!’
We were looking back at them from that very Future.
God was dead, but so was Zarathustra.

iii A Note on Sectarian Conflict
What ‘came next’ was always the problem.
If there was life after death
page 91 there had to be somewhere to go.
We called it Heaven
and made it nice—then ‘nice’ became the problem.
Who wants bad guys fighting over the hammocks,
damaging the palms?
Another place was needed. We called that Hell.
Really our wars were over the sorting process—
wheat from chaff, sheep from goats.
If signals from Headquarters had only been clear
there need have been no burnings.
Faith showed faint cracks. Downstairs engendered
anxiety, then rejection—and even our Club Med in the Skies
began to lose trade. Who'd ever been there
and come back to report?—apart from the One,
and look what happened to Him!
It's been a hard road.
But hell!—who ever said it was gonna be easy?

iv Heaven
By e-mail
two below-the-belt
digital pics
one full-frontal
one between-buttocks
and the message
‘Remember me?’

He imagined it
circling the globe
stopping among the stars
(those supreme flashers)—
a cunt on the move,
a cunt in space,
in heaven!
page 92 ‘Holy Mother!’
(is what he said)
‘This might be anyone.’
He messaged back
‘Send me your face.’

There was no reply.

v Dog
In His Museum of the Universe
Dog has everything that is / was / will be
in exact replica
even the passage of time.
Things (stars, for example, bugs)
are born, grow up, grow old and die—
imagine that!
In the long lovely lonely
heavenly afternoons
(each one lasting forever)
He strolls in the galleries
watching the fall of heavenly rain
on heavenly gardens
but pauses sometimes to listen
for the yells from Hell
which He's told are loud
though out of earshot.
He thinks of inviting them up
but there'd be no end of trouble.
He plans a new universe
—more colourful, various—
but He's a lazy Dog, and jealous:
people disappoint Him;
Time is unstable.
page 93 He needs another medium
but He's at the end of His rope.
Some other Dog will do it.

vi Messiah
Jesus claimed he was the Son of God.
He was not. I am.
Only through Me is there access
to my Father's chain of Mansions
called ‘the Life after Death’.

This is known as yet
to hardly more than a dozen
(and Dwayne will betray me).
After my Death and Resuscitation
we plan to change the World.

vii Dogma
Stillness came to the garden—
so many greens!
and it occured to him without beauty
there would not be much to speak of,
much to love.

A face, stars, islands,
a vastness
of darkness and light,
a few wrenching bars—
these made sadness possible,
compelled regret.
page 94 Last night
straining to make his ears.
attend to the silence
he heard it in the distance—
a dog barking,
and then a half-asleep voice
(his own) with laughter in it:
‘Dog, are you there?
Good dog. Dog!’

vii Philosophy
Dr Johnson kicked a stone
Bishop Berkeley sulked alone
Swift went swiftly mad, or so
it seemed, so bad his vertigo
Reason earned John Locke's applause
Hume the doubter doubted Cause
Kant knew Reason on its own
can't account for Johnson's stone—
that turned on a light for Goethe
to write the Sorrows of Young Werther.

Our skein is paid out by the Fates
the Dog Star guards the Pearly Gates
the Roman Church upholds a proof
that God is there, although aloof.

I dreamed I met a man in space
he had a brain and not much face
he used a small machine for talking
it said his name was Stephen Hawking
I said ‘I know that Space is bending’
He quacked ‘It's worse than that. It's ending.’